Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Religion in the Workplace

To the Editor:

"Moralists at the Workplace" (editorial, April 3) addressed "scattered reports" of employees refusing to perform certain job requirements that conflict with their personal moral or religious beliefs and customers seeking to have these requirements filled. We believe that there is a solution that accommodates the needs of both parties.

Recently, we introduced the Workplace Religious Freedom Act, which clarifies current law to say a person's religious beliefs should be recognized and accommodated in the workplace as long as this does not adversely affect the employer's business or customers.

The bill is supported by a diverse coalition of more than 45 religious and civil rights groups as well as a bipartisan group of senators and representatives.

If the bill becomes law, an employee who does not wish to do their job would not have to do so long as another employee is on duty and would do their job for them.

The Workplace Religious Freedom Act provides a sensible solution to the potential conflict between an employee's religious conviction and the needs of their employer and employer’s customers.

I, for instance, am part of a strict no-technology-using religion similiar to that practiced by the Amish. I work for a telecommunications firm where my job requirements include using computers, telephones, and managing projects that aid in the spread of telecommunications technology, which I do not believe in.

Luckily, thanks to this law, I can come into work everyday and have my coworkers do all of this work for me while I write novels longhand.

I believe this solution accomodates the needs of all parties involved.

Kameron Hurley; AA, BA, MA

3 comments so far. What are your thoughts?

Anonymous said...

what a grand idea!

my religion dictates that i smack fools upside their headbones (27th commandment, Book of BeeJeezus, amended edition).

but y'know? come to think of it that would just add a LOT of work to my already busy schedule. i mean, i'd be smacking all day! i probably wouldn't even find time for lunch.... hell, i'd probably be forced into OT! & i'd probably get carpal tunnel!

so, i guess i'm fine with being religiously oppressed at my job for now. it's easier than having to meet up to my religious duties, all things considered.


Posted by jam

Anonymous said...

Yea. I sooooo want to take advantage of this law. Think of all the free money! Great!

Something tells me the politicians would back off when productivity at the companies they own stock in slacks off and customers start going somewhere else.


It's all about perspective.

How about this: what if this was about pharmacists whose personal beliefs prevented them from handing out Viagra prescriptions?

Want to know how fast they'd book an emergency bill through?


Posted by Kameron Hurley

Anonymous said...

Hehehe. I wrote about trying to balance the rights of employees and the rights of companies/customers on my blog . And I keep seeing bloggers or commenters just dismissing the problem as "an inconvenience." As if it's perfectly fine to inconvenience women in their quest for healthcare. And as if this could never be anything more than an inconvenience. Unfortunately all the banging my head into walls and desks in really only hurting me. 

Posted by Rebecca